Settling down on a web hosting provider might be a tough decision to make. While there are no two ways about the fact that there are a number of companies in the market promising everything from unlimited knowledgeable support to more than 99% up-time, it is necessary that you make an informed decision after knowing enough about what the company offers and what you want from your web host.
Here are 7 Factors to Consider When Selecting a Web Host
1. Area Of Focus / Specialties
You need to know what kind of customers the website deals with best. Not all hosts can provide service to all customers. You might come across providers offering great shared plans which are not good for developing businesses. There may be others that have great enterprise solutions but are not good for small blogs. You must consider a company’s area of expertise before you decide to choose it as your host. An easy way to do this is to read recommendations and reviews on the web where people discuss the company’s strengths and weaknesses.
2. Tech Support
Tech support is the most important aspect to consider for some people. You must consider what kind of support does the company offer. Does the company have the facility of offering support by a real and live person on phone? Do look for a company that offers 24 hours support. You must know whether the company outsources support or do they have a dedicated staff for it. It is recommended to go for a company that offers multiple means of contacting them.
Although it is not easy but some reading and research on the company would reveal the kind of hardware that the company uses. You must ask what kind of servers does the company use if the company does not declare that itself. It is important since hardware affects the performance of their servers and hence your site too.
4. Amount of Web Space
Does the web host have enough space for your needs. While estimating your needs you need a near real estimate of your future plans of expansion of your site. Your needs may vary with the number of pictures, video clips or sound clips that you use. It is recommended to have some room for the website to expand and not compromise with space needs of your website.
5. Reliability and Speed of Access
It is recommended that you experiment with the speed and reliability of your web host. Do this exercise during both, peak hours as well as off peak hours. Apart from being reliable and fast, a web host should guarantee its up-time too. Even an up-time of 99% is too low and you should look for 99.5% or higher. Go for a provider that is ready to pay a penalty if it falls below the promised up-time. Although such guarantees are difficult to adhere to because the provider will usually deny any such downtime but a company without such a guarantee will be worse to work with.
6. File Type and Size Limitations
Look out for the limitations, if any, imposed by your host on file sizes. There are a number of sites that impose restrictions on the types of files as well. You might find your access restricted to only HTML and JPG/GIF files. Look for a company that caters to your needs if you have different ones e.g. you may need to look elsewhere if you plan to distribute your own program on your site.
7. Bandwidth Allotment
A number of web hosts also impose limit on the amount of traffic that they will allow your website to handle. This means that in the event of the number of times your website is loaded by visitors exceeding a certain value per day or per month, the host will either disable your site or send you a bill for the excessive use. It is however difficult to recommend the minimum bandwidth for the website because it depends on your target audience and the way you design your site. As an example, consider 1-3 GB traffic per month to be adequate for a simple starting out site.
Once you consider these seven factors before choosing your web host, you are sure to get a good web host for your website that offers a good bandwidth, file size and up-time at a reasonable price.
Derek Fraser is an online manager for RSC Heating & Air Conditioning. He likes blogging about online strategies that are related to SEO, Content, PPC & Lead generation.